Credit Unions Need to Establish a Common Language to Strengthen the Credit Union Movement
On a recent trip to Malaysia, I was able to play basketball with my brother-in-law (my wife is Malaysian). As we began the game, I realized that we were all relying on a single source of truth for the rules of basketball. Even though we are from very different parts of the globe, we were operating under the same definitions of the rules of basketball. Imagine if we all began playing according to sources of the truth that dictated different ways to play basketball. Maybe my source of truth told me that I don’t need to dribble to play the game. The other team’s source of the truth dictated that they can tackle the other team. This game would end horribly and would probably escalate into a conflict quickly. The same is true for data analytics within the credit union movement today.
Different Sources of Truth
Within most credit unions, there are many different sources of truth. Marketing departments have their sources, Accounting has theirs, and Lending has as many sources as types of loans (i.e. credit cards, mortgages, student loans, etc.). Over the course of time, every department begins establishing their own language based on their sources of truth, which are usually centered around a specific source system. For example, the marketing team has an MCIF system, which has an abundance of data regarding households and members’ profiles. The lending department relies on its loan origination system, which displays information found within a member’s loan application. All the while, the contact center relies on their CRM, which houses data collected during calls with members. When there is a need to work together to accomplish a goal, these various departments come to a meeting speaking different languages and using a separate understanding of the rules of the credit union. Like the game of basketball without a common source of truth, the project or initiative often ends horribly.